A wooden and metal post located on the Waterbury Green is stirring up questions in the city.
Could it be a whipping post?
The post received attention after someone recently posted a performance art photo on social media of a young lady displayed as a slave with her arms tied around the post.
Raechel Guest is the director of the Silas Bronson Library and has studied Waterbury’s history for years. She said from her research so far, it appears the post was a whipping post, but there’s still much to investigate to determine if that was actually the case.
"Now, whether or not this was the original post used for whippings or if this is a replacement post because things that are wood (and) standing outside eventually fall apart – that, I don’t know,” Guest said.
Guest said every community in Connecticut once had a whipping post used by government officials. From her research, the possible whipping post in the Watertown Green appears to have been used between the 1700s until about 1821.
Whipping posts were used as a form of punishment for certain crimes.
Guest said when the post was not being used for whippings, it was used for displaying notices.
Joe Geary, chief of staff for the City of Waterbury, told NBC Connecticut, "We’re still trying to determine the actual use of the post that is on the Waterbury Green. At the time we determine what the post was used for, we will determine what to do with it."
NBC Connecticut spoke to residents into town about what they believe should be done final results from the city’s research determines the post was used as a whipping post.
"It is a part of history but a history I don’t agree with so I think it should go in a museum," Thomas Hixon, of Waterbury, said.
"I honestly think that they should put a plaque on it for a reminder that this is history. It’s part of our Waterbury Green," Theresa Lawler, of Waterbury, said.